Chong-ji Cash, the "Panda in Black"
Chong-ji Cash, AKA the Panda in Black, is a legend in his own time. Adopted by a wealthy American oil tycoon, he grew up in Dallas and acquired a love of Country Western music. However, he always felt the pull of his native China. (It may have been a largely gastronomical pull; fresh bamboo is very hard to come by in Texas.) Eventually he started writing and recording songs, seeking to reconcile his Chinese-American identity through music that mixed an unmistakably Country Western sound with Asian sensibilities.
After years of playing gigs underground, Chong-ji Cash exploded into the spotlight with his first hit single, "Wok the Line." Suddenly he was famous on both sides of the Pacific. Soon Chinese and Americans alike were singing along to such instant classics as, "Bamboo Don't Come Easy," and, "Egg Foo Young, But I'm Too Old." The sudden fame took its toll, and Cash retreated to a Tibetan monastery to soothe his nerves and gather his thoughts. He returned with a follow up album, "Cowboys and Monk(ey) Business," that went instant platinum.